Gillian Philip vs Working Partners & HarperCollins
Writer Gillian Philip added #IStandWithJKRowling to her Twitter account in 2020 resulting in her publishers HarperCollins and book creators Working Partners terminating her contract.
Gillian’s employment tribunal claim against both companies alleges she was discriminated against because of her age and for holding and expressing gender-critical views. Both were aware of her gender critical views beforehand but her support of JK Rowling generated a Twitter storm and she believes a coordinated attempt to get her fired.
The preliminary tribunal hearing of June 8-10 2022 will decide if Gillian’s case can proceed to a full employment tribunal; establishing if her claim is out of time, and whether she was a worker at WorkingPartners rather than an independent contractor.
WorkingPartners asked the employment tribunal to ban media reporting for fear of hostile emails which the judge rejected, reminding the organisations of the basic principles of open justice and legal protections for free speech.
The Tribunal will hear evidence from Gillian Philip & for the respondents, Chris Snowden, MD Working Partners, book creators.
Gillian was a successful author under contract to Working Partners. She was one of a team of writers of the Braveland books for children under the name Erin Hunter, which are published by Harper Collins.
Status of case
Gillian narrowly lost the preliminary hearing on the grounds that she was not an employee and sought to appeal. The right to appeal has been granted and she will now have the chance to persuade a superior court of record that in writing novels under the close control of her publishers she was a worker, entitled to the protections of the Equality Act 2010.
Update as of 7/12/22: The Respondents have been denied their request for an appeal and they have not submitted a 3.10 so the hearing will be to decide if GP was a “worker”. GP is currently waiting for a hearing date.
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8 June 2022 Morning - procedural matters
8 June 2022 Afternoon - procedural matters
9 June 2022 Morning - evidence from Gillian Philip
9 June 2022 Afternoon - evidence from Gillian Philip
10 June 2022 Morning - evidence from Chris Snowdon MD, at WorkingPartners Ltd
10 June 2022 Afternoon - further evidence from CS, submissions from counsel.
DM - David Mitchell, Counsel for Gillian Philip
SQ - Shah Qureshi Solicitor for Gillian Philip
GP - Gillian Philip writer, the claimant bringing ET against
HC - HarperCollins publisher &
WP - WorkingPartners book creators
CS or Mr S - R’s witness Chris Snowdon MD at WorkingPartners Ltd
DH - David Hay the Respondents' joint Counsel for this hearing
ML - Michelle Last Keystone Law - Solicitor for HC - 1st Respondent
ET - Employment Tribunal
J - Employment Judge
P - Panel member
C- Claimant (GP)
R - Respondent(s) (HC and/or WP)
Sols - solicitors - Irwin Mitchell for C or Keystone Law for R
fbp - further and better particulars
ws - witness statement